Self-absorbed Dr. Lee Johnson enlists with the Army medical corps during World War II, more out of a feeling that it's "the thing to do" rather than deep-seated patriotism. On his first day... See full summary »
General Dennis of the US Force in England in World War II finds that he must order his planes deeper and deeper into Germany to prevent the production of military jet planes that will turn the tide of battle to the Germans. He must fight congressmen, and his own chain of command to win the political battle before he can send his planes out. His problem is complicated by a very narrow window of good weather necessary to allow his effort to be successful. Adapted from a stage play, it attempts to look at the challenges of command in the political arena.Written by
John Vogel <email@example.com>
Twelve O'Clock High (1949) was delayed in its release because this film beat it to the punch. The similarity in content between the two films forced 20th Century-Fox to hold back on "Twelve O'Clock High" for a few months. See more »
After the plane General Dennis tried to talk in to a landing crashes, the next scene is an inside shot with the generals discussing allowing staff photographers into a debrief. On the brick wall in the background, the shadow of a boom mic is clearly seen moving in and out of scene for the entire duration. See more »
"Command Decision" is a wonderful film filled with several great performances. It's Gable's movie, but he's very capably supported by Walter Pigeon, Brian Donlevy and John Hodiak, who nearly equals his "Lifeboat" performance.
Pigeon is especially good in the roll of a senior commander who is more concerned with the political considerations of the war effort than the tactical and strategic goals. (Not without reason - The film correctly details the perilous and tenuous position that the 8th Air Force found itself in during the worst combat period of 1943.)
One of the best scenes in the film is a very long speech given by Pigeon, wherein he explains his reasons for fighting the good fight to keep American air power strong. The scene is a good 6 or 7 minutes long, one camera shot, entirely done without cuts. It must have been rehearsed extensively as it requires about 10 actors to interact with Pigeon at several times, all the while he is moving about the room. Seamless, and very well done! This remarkable scene is followed up with one almost as long, given by Gable.
The drama is occasionally broken up with comic moments provided by Van Johnson, as a savvy sergeant, and Clinton Sunberg as a fastidious aide to Pigeon's General Kane.
If you like to watch actors banging away with words instead of guns, this is the war movie for you.
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